Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) knows the value of a strong closing message. The incumbent senator is in the midst of the toughest race of his lengthy career – polls show him clinging to a tiny lead over Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) – and with very little time remaining, McConnell wants to sprint to the finish line with his strongest message.
And yet, for some reason, the longtime lawmaker has chosen to emphasize women’s issues in his final pitch.
Team McConnell unveiled this new ad late yesterday, featuring four women speaking to the camera. For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s the script:
First woman: Alison Lundergan Grimes wants me to think that I’m not good enough.Second woman: That I couldn’t get a job, unless Washington passed more laws.Third woman: That I can’t graduate college, without raising your taxes.Fourth woman: She wants me to believe that strong women and strong values are incompatible.Third woman: She thinks I’ll vote for the candidate who looks like me.First woman: Rather than the one who represents me.
After they say they’re voting for McConnell, the first woman says “he believes in me.”
This is the sort of ad a politician runs if he’s convinced voters just aren’t very bright.
Part of the problem, of course, is that McConnell is a poor messenger for a weak message. He is, after all, the same senator who opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay, voted repeatedly to kill the Violence Against Women Act, rejected the Paycheck Fairness Act, and voted to restrict contraception access. Closing the campaign with a discussion about women’s issues seems like an odd choice.
But even if we overlook the relevant context, McConnell’s pitch itself is truly bizarre. The conservative Republican who’s spent years voting against women’s interests now wants voters to believe that this is a good thing – as if women should oppose pay-equity legislation on purpose.
No, seriously. With 12 days remaining before Election Day, part of McConnell’s closing pitch is that women should reject the candidate who supports protecting women in the workplace, helping women have more educational opportunities, and preserving women’s reproductive rights.
McConnell’s staff found four people to appear in the ad who actually believe this?